What makes man different and unique from all else in existence is that he is aware of himself. He is able to reflect upon himself and analyze what happens to him, he can change his consciousness, he can perceive how his environment influences him and how he influences it.
I have been able to increase my awareness, or as I refer to it “leveling up” by creating a few subtle changes in my daily routine. You’ve heard “we are creatures of nature”, but ask yourself, what does your nature consist of or look like? A chaotic mess of overgrowth? Or a serene garden? So I’ve spent much time in the dirt manicuring my forest into a garden. Not by chopping but simply pruning one flower at a time. Which is detail work. I’ll be honest with you, it takes work. A LOT of work. It’s every moment of every day.
Awareness without action is worthless –Phil McGraw
I.) Wake up nice and slowly, set your alarm with an extra 10-15 minutes. And while you’re at it, change your alarm from a nuclear bomb warning to a subtle sound that increases in loudness. On some phones you can even preset a song of your liking. Sit on the edge of your bed and start your engine. Just like you sit in your car and let it warm up before heading out. Take five deep breaths. You’re ready for your day now.
2.) Get your internal system flowing. Drink a tall glass of water. 70% of the human body content is water, and so water plays an important role in the proper functioning of your body. Nobody likes a dry pancake in the morning.
3.) You have heard it before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? You are literally “breaking a fast”. Get it? You’ve slept for 8 hours (hint hint), fuel up. Eat a balanced meal consisting of carbohydrate, protein, and fats. Not the banana and coffee special. Some oats with almond butter and boiled eggs always hits the spot for me.
4.) Breathe deeply. Oxygen is good for you. If I lose focus and that overgrowth starts creeping in, I take a moment and take a couple deep breaths. This brings me back to center.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again - L. Frank Baum
5.) Get grounded. Literally. Grounding happens when your bare feet come into contact with the earth’s surface by conducting negative electrons to your body. Step on some grass or dirt in bare feet. You get a better sense of your body relative to your surrounding environment, This is known as proprioception. Imagine wearing gloves on your hands all your life.
6.) Stay in the present. Take a look around, whether if you are out on a walk or sitting in a waiting room. Doing this simple drill puts you in the moment. Your mind can’t be worrying about why your auto insurance is so damn high if you are admiring the sunset or the lovely décor in your dentist’s office.
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. –Eckhart Tolle
7.) Less TV. Or no TV at all. Whoa! Less distraction = more interaction. You’ll have more time to tend to your garden.
8.) Create a sacred space. This can be a book shelf, a room, or a garden. This is a space you revere as safe and peaceful. A place you can leave behind the affairs of ordinary life of meetings and schedules. It takes intention to build such a place. You’ll notice it begin to grow as you add items that mean something special to you. Make it your treasure chest as you once did when you were young.
9.) Live a physical life style. Experience your body. Use it for what it is meant for. To move and explore. Pick up an activity that will challenge your body. Go for a hike, practice yoga, exercise, rock climb, swim in the ocean. Any activity is a chance for your body to rejoice and become aware of its capabilities. Give thanks for the body you have.
10.) Meditate. If there is one tool that will “level up” your awareness, this one is it. There are several ways to do it and numerous studies that prove its effectiveness. Research and find the best one for you. I’ll make it quite simple, it really is just about training your brain to concentrate and focus better. Meditation is a lot like doing reps at the gym. It strengthens your attention muscle.
Meditation means the mind is turned back upon itself. The mind stops all the thought-waves and the world stops. Your consciousness expands. - Swami Vivekananda